I am a simple person, anything pleases me, almost any food, an acceptable level of service, a clean place and of course reasonable pricing. This was not to be when I ate at Old Penang at Resorts World Manila.
I love Malaysian food, like Singapore, Malaysia is a mix of different minorities which blended beautifully together to bring in the best of each culture that manifests itself in its food which is now exotic and varied. My love story with Malaysian and Singaporean food began when my brother lived in Singapore and I would visit at least once a year (libreng tirahan). I delighted myself with hawker's market food, street food and food courts, particularly Laksa, the spicy, hearty complete meal soup, one of my very favorite dishes.
On to my story, on a horrific traffic Wednesday we found ourselves in Manila seeking a route to Makati. South Super Highway was jammed tighter a jar of Milo I figured that instead of going further that we should take the Skyway and rest at Resorts World. And that we did after a good hour from Cash and Carry to the Skyway entrance. Being famished we ran off to the top floor of the mall and figured Penang would be something new.
Old Penang is not cheap, dishes average 300 pesos each and hence gave me a rather bloated expectation. The thing was
1. Plating is odd, everything is served in plastic dishes. Portions are reasonable, not generous although the chicken and squid were veering towards the stingy side. I understand they want to give you the authentic hawker market experience but seriously, we were not paying hawker prices and I don't care how much rent is.
2. Service is bad. I noticed there were a lot of trainees. I asked one what the difference was among their three or four squid dishes and I only got the answer "squid". I asked "ano ang kaibahan" and got the answer "squid". We also were not attended to past being given food. I never tipped so little in my life. Not to be a jackass but one waitress had pretty bad acne and I understand the difficulty of the condition but to show the person next to me the menu she bent across our table and I tell you her cheeks were six inches away from my mouth to my horror. Seriously, who trains these people?
3. The cleanliness was off, we asked for dishes and the server came and placed dishes with unidentifiable black bits (I am sure it wasn't mice or rat or cockroach poop or I would have ran to the hills). I thought they must have been some spice and ask looked at the server who grinned and ran off to replace them.
4. Price, well I wanted to relax and ordered a local beer, which turns out to be P80 and in a can. The chicken, squid and noodle dishes we ordered (cannot remember what the names are right now) were P300 each.
I will never be back.
There are lots of other restaurants here.